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Sept. 18 issue

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TARPON SPRINGS - Tarpon Springs commissioners agreed to consider funding a new emergency room at Florida Hospital North Pinellas during a workshop tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 27.

The decision came Oct. 6, after commissioners discussed potential ways to fund the renovation as well as need for a new upgrade to the hospital, run from a city-owned building.

“If you go to the ER, the service you receive is great, but it’s in desperate need to be redone,” said Commissioner David Banther. “It’s serving twice the amount of people than what it was built to serve.”
 ... Read More 
Thursday, September 17
TARPON SPRINGS - Michael John Targakis stood on the edge of the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, near a “Divers Wanted” sign, and explained how his life had come full circle.

He found his first job at this spot along the water. He was 10. His father had just died and his mother said he was to find a job. He worked 9 to 5 on a sponge exhibition boat.

“I’d walk up and down this sidewalk selling tickets. Then when the boat was ready to go, I’d get on the boat and work the air hose. While I was working the air hose, I did the lecture. We used to do that 13 to 14 times a day, every 35 to 40 minutes,” Targakis said.
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TARPON SPRINGS - Mayor David Archie calls himself a lifelong Tarpon Springs resident, though he wasn’t born in the city. In 1953, hospitals were still segregated, so he was born at a black hospital in Tampa.

But for all intents and purposes, Tarpon Springs is his hometown. In fact, his mayoral office in City Hall is in the building that used to be his high school. His other office, as executive director of Citizens Alliance for Progress, is in the building that once was Union Academy, a black elementary school that he attended as a youth.
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TARPON SPRINGS - The property tax rate for the city of Tarpon Springs likely won’t change, after the city commissioners passed the first reading of the tax rate along with a budget of $53.2 million Sept. 9.

The property tax rate will remain at $5.45 mills, or $5.45 per $1,000 in taxable property value - a rate that hasn’t changed since 2011. However, property values in Tarpon Springs have increased 6 percent over last year, meaning that most residents and business owners will see an increase to the amount of taxes they will pay the city in the coming year, which starts Oct. 1.

Overall, the city will raise $383,180 more in property taxes in the coming year as compared to the previous year.
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TARPON SPRINGS - Residents of Tarpon Springs will pay a little more for stormwater in the coming years as the city tries to raise more funds to keep streets from flooding during rainstorms.

The Tarpon Springs Commission passed a resolution Sept. 15 that will gradually raise the stormwater fees each year to meet current and future stormwater revenue needs. Up until now, the fee hasn’t been increased since 2002.

The increased revenue will help the city pay for capital improvements to the system following the development of the Stormwater Action Plan.
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TARPON SPRINGS - Before leaving the city for good, Joseph La Rocca, 90, made one more stop at the podium before the Tarpon Springs Commission Sept. 1.

Since 1986, La Rocca took up causes that affected his home in The Woods at Anderson Park and the surrounding community, advocating for change in Tarpon Springs through five city managers and five mayors. He “reluctantly became an activist,” he said, making his case about issues like water meters, unlit neighborhoods, odorous garbage and waste in city spending.
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TARPON SPRINGS - This month, the American Red Cross will be partnering with the Tarpon Springs Fire Department to install smoke alarms and deliver fire prevention information in the places that have high numbers of fires.

The local effort is part of a nationwide campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years.

Pre-event canvassing will be Sept. 19, 10 a.m. to noon, in preparation of the Smoke Alarm Installation Rally Sept. 26, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
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Friday, August 28
TARPON SPRINGS - The city of Tarpon Springs will be making sandbag materials available at three locations within the city beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, in anticipation of possible heavy rains and flooding that may be associated with Tropical Storm Erika.

Locations are:  Roosevelt at Dodecanese Boulevard; Live Oak Street parking lot (adjacent to the Dog Park); and Dorsett Park (Harrison Street at Levis Avenue).

Tarpon Springs officials will be monitoring developments and consulting with Pinellas County Emergency Operations team over the weekend.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, August 27
TARPON SPRINGS - The city of Tarpon Springs Public Services Division, Wastewater Collection Department, will perform sewer line testing for leaks by means of smoke testing in various areas, beginning, Friday, Aug. 28.

The testing should continue for about four to five weeks. Residents in each area of testing will receive door hangers prior to the testing in their neighborhood.

The purpose of the testing is to identify areas where storm-water may be intruding into the wastewater treatment system. Customers are encouraged to call the City of Tarpon Springs Wastewater Collection Division office at 727-942-5616 for any additional information they might need.
 ... Read More 
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Community Calender
• Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015
Homespun by Hands and Hearts Arts and Crafts Show
LARGO – The 20th annual Homespun by Hands and Hearts Arts and Crafts Show will be Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Christian Life Enrichment Center of St. Paul United Methodist Church, on the corner of Highland Avenue and Rosery Road.

The show has featured the best of local artists and craftspeople for the last 20 years. This year’s show includes unique handcrafted items from more than 85 local vendors. Children are invited to create their own arts and crafts in the Children’s Activity Center and enjoy the St. Paul pumpkin patch across the street.

The $1 cost of admission to the craft show benefits the homeless of Pinellas County. For information, visit
 ... Read More 
Arts and crafts fair
LARGO – The 20th annual Arts and Crafts Event will be presented Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1199 Highland Ave.

The event will feature 85 vendors, door prizes, a children’s activity center and pumpkin patch. All crafts are original, handcrafted and created by the artists themselves. The craft show is being held inside and outside the Christian Life Enrichment Center of the church.

There is a $1 donation at the door with the proceeds going toward the homeless and other select ministries in the church. For information, call 585-0273.
 ... Read More 
Blessing of the Animals
LARGO – A Blessing of the Animals will take place Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. and noon, at St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church, 2790 Sunny Breeze Ave.

Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis, St. Dunstan’s invites the general public to bring their pets for an individual blessing by the Rev. Fr. James Derbyshire. The blessing will take place on church grounds in a shaded area. Water stations will be available, and each pet will receive a small, appropriate goody bag.
 ... Read More 
Boat Safety Course
CLEARWATER – A boating safety class will be offered Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, 8 a.m., by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-1 at the Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion, second floor, at Morton Plant Hospital, 455 Pinellas St.

Materials are $50. Parking is free.

The class, taught by certified instructors, covers topics including boating emergencies, getting underway, navigation and legal requirements.

All graduates receive a Florida state certification card.

For information or to register, call Leslie Long, 469-8895 or email
 ... Read More 
Boating safety course
TARPON SPRINGS – The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Tarpon Springs Flotilla offers a boating safety course the second Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. to noon, at the auxiliary’s classroom at Turtle Cove Marine, 827 Roosevelt Blvd., at the west end of the sponge docks.

The course, titled “About Boating Safely,” is designed for both experienced and novice boaters. Some of the topics presented will be boating emergencies, know your boat, getting underway, navigating the waterways, operating your boat safely, and legal requirements.

The fee is $40, which includes all printed materials. Florida boater safety certification cards are given to individuals who successfully complete the course.

For more information, call Roy Warner at 938-8568 or email
 ... Read More 
Boca Ciega High class of 1965 50th reunion
ST. PETE BEACH – Boca Ciega High School’s class of 1965 will host its 50th anniversary reunion on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9-10, at Silas Dent’s Bayside Banquet Hall, 5501 Gulf Blvd.

The event also will feature a tour of the BCHS campus on Friday at 4 p.m. Attendees should meet in the lobby of the BCHS administration building. Friday evening, there will be a meet-and-greet from 7 to 11 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and music in the gazebo.

On Saturday, attendees can hang out at Harry’s Beach Bar at the Sirata Beach Resort, across from Silas Dent’s. Saturday evening, from 6 to 11 p.m., there will be a barbeque buffet and sundae bar, cash bar and sock hop music with The Impacs. Cost is $80 per person.

For information, call Mardell McCormick Ammon at 391-3520 or
 ... Read More 
Bonner Park guided nature hike
LARGO – A guided nature hike will be offered Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m., at Bonner Park, 14444 143rd St. N. Guests will take a guided walk through the woods, seeking out animals at the park.

The hike is part of a series of monthly nature hikes, offered second Saturdays, at different nature parks in Largo. The hike is free but donations are accepted. To preregister, call 518-3047.
 ... Read More 
Fall Campout
LARGO – A Fall Campout will be offered Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9-10, at Bonner Nature Park, 14444 143rd St. N., Largo.

The program will begin Friday at 4 p.m. and will conclude Saturday at 10 a.m. Cost is $10 a person. Children age 2 and younger are free.

The Friends of the Largo Nature Parks will host the family camp out. Food, campfire events and nature programs will be presented under the stars at Bonner Nature Park. Advance registration and payment are required. To register, visit For information, call 518-3047.
 ... Read More 
Festival of Service
DUNEDIN – The First United Methodist Church of Dunedin will host a Festival of Service Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to noon, in downtown Dunedin.

FUMC Dunedin and supporting local businesses will work with volunteers to pack 10,000 compassion meals on Main Street. The meals will be distributed to people experiencing hunger – right here in Pinellas County and abroad.

In addition to feeding 10,000 families, the church will be celebrating its centennial with carnival games and a bounce house for children and families, a mobile blood donation unit, and a pet blessing at 9 a.m. in Pioneer Park.

This street party also will feature fun games and treats. There is no cost to participate in any of the event activities.

For information, email Chrissy Krampert at or call 850-766-9250 or email Lauren Wolf at or call 813-951-5632.
 ... Read More 
Fish broil
ST. PETE BEACH – Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet School PTA will host its annual fish broil Saturday, Oct. 10, 2 to 8 p.m., at 8600 Boca Ciega Drive.

This annual school fundraiser supports the recently re-opened Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet School. This event brings staff, students, their families and friends together for an afternoon of community, fun and fundraising featuring great food, games, and activities.

This event opens the campus to the entire community and brings students and families together to celebrate the start of a new school year. Funds raised will provide educational materials and support for programs at our school. 

The event will feature local artists, live music, food and drinks. Attendees can purchase fresh fish or barbecue chicken dinners with two sides for $5. There will be carnival games, fish painting, a bounce house, face painting, photo booth, dunk tank and local vendors.

For information, call Heather Ames at 641-9090 or email  
 ... Read More 
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